08 April 2010

The Prayer of Adam and Eve

Moses 5:4 tells us that Adam and Eve offered prayer after they left the Garden of Eden:

"And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence."

In answer to their petitions, Adam and Eve heard the Lord’s voice calling them back from their place of exile on the fallen earth. Later, He gave them additional instruction and commandments in order to set their feet back on the way toward the Garden of Eden which is, of course, the path that terminates in “the way of the Tree of Life." In a passage from the Midrash Tehillim, the Hebrew term teshuvah, which denotes "return" but scripturally means "repentance" or "conversion," is used to describe the way back to the Garden, signifying "the movement that brings every thing and every being back to its supernal origin," the "return to the celestial abode." The spiritual movement of turning away from the sinful world and back toward mankind's heavenly origins is mirrored in the layout of ordinance rooms in some modern temples.

In this article, I will explore sources that purport to give details about ancient forms of prayer rooted in the experiences of Adam and Eve. Notable features of such prayers include uplifted hands, introductions spoken in an unknown language, repetition, and the veiling of the face by women...

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  1. Thanks for a great article. I stumbled across it searching for something else. The quote from (L. Ginzberg, Legends) was surprising to me to see I guess that is a book I will have to read. Your very bold to write about that. On the veiled face I have often wondered if what Paul really meant in 1 Tim 2:9 instead of shamefacedness was really a veiled face. The chapter is on prayer with uplifted hands as you cite in your footnote.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Greg. I would enjoy hearing from you again.